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Victims of April 1, 2015 tragedy remembered

Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2016/4/1 8:00:00 (2519 reads)

Note: For the humor-challenged, this post is a piece of April Fools satire.

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Non-offensive photo of a cute little cardinal sitting on a tree. (Photo by Jim Shorts)
By Ben Kidden

SCHMEWISVILLE - People across North Texas will pause Friday at noon for a moment of silence in remembrance of the 1,369 Texans who literally died on April Fools Day, 2015.

That was the day when a local website The Schmewisville Schmexan Yournal posted an “unfortunate article” that upheld a tradition of annually fooling readers with an obviously false article that had been intended to entertain while “speaking to a larger truth.”

The content of that article remains off-limits for publication here. Authorities have warned that any mention of the subject matter could lead to more deaths. While the subject matter cannot be discussed, we can say that Schmewisville ISD was the target of the false article.

Bells will toll at noon for the victims, who died mostly from two different and yet opposite medical conditions. Approximately half of the victims died from sudden acute rectitis. The other half died from asphyxia risum, a pulmonary condition brought on by the uncontrolled reaction to a shocking and ironic situation. Three of the victims were school secretaries, who died of exhaustion, answering several phone calls from gullible parents.

The infamous article was written by April Fultz, and was clearly marked as satire by 8 a.m. that fateful day, but it would be too late. Righteous indignation overwhelmed many of the article’s thousands of readers, causing them to develop the fatal rectitis. The others laughed themselves to death. Sadly, local clergy believe their souls went straight to hell.

By 8:10 a.m. on that day, 9-1-1 operators across the DFW area began to receive phone calls about unconscious people. They were soon overwhelmed.

Ambulances came from as far away as Oklahoma City and Waco. Military helicopters from Fort Hood delivered emergency supplies of Desitin, Preparation H, and Tucks to local hospitals, an action credited with preventing the death toll from the acute rectitis from being even higher.

The asphyxia risum victims fared worse. Most were pronounced dead upon arrival. Doctors were able to get some of the victims to stop laughing by showing them videos of recent Saturday Night Live skits.

Local hospitals set up makeshift morgues in parking lots. Refrigerated trailers were brought in to store the bodies of the dead.

The website removed the article by noon that day.

Police seized voicemail recordings from the offices of the Yournal, after it was learned that several callers had died while leaving messages that day.

“It was crazy, and very frightening,” said Yournal editor Keith Mouthwell. “One second they were cursing at us, and screaming ‘how dare you’, and then we just heard a gurgling sound.”

For the next several weeks, especially in Schmewisville, it was non-stop funerals.

“We lost our son for no reason,” said Georgia Lyons. Her son Phil was the father of a teen at Flower Mound High School. Phil’s last words, recorded on the Yournal’s voicemail, indicated that he had not read the article enough to realize that the article was actually making fun of the position that he thought the article was taking.

Anita Job was an employee at the school district who nearly died. She developed asphyxia about halfway into reading the article.

“They had me going until about the third paragraph,” she said. “At first, it was slightly plausible, but then that part about the (redacted) was just so ridiculous that it got me tickled.”

Job continued to read, but didn’t make it to the end. “All I remember is hitting the ‘share’ link on Facebook,” she said. “Next thing I know, I’m at the hospital, and they’re showing me this video of ‘The Californians’ from SNL.”

When she was still in the hospital, she learned that she had lost her job for sharing the post.

It is estimated that hundreds of North Texans lost their jobs over the article, which had been shared 4 million times. The FBI seized all known copies of the article, which is being kept under heavy security. The Department of Defense is rumored to be studying the article for weaponization.

Over 600 lawsuits are still pending against the Yournal, which at that point was earning about $20 a week from selling ads for Russian dating websites. None of the cases can go to trial though. Federal Judge Hal Itosis ruled that because the Yournal cannot present the text of the article to a jury for consideration, no trial can proceed.

“It is this court’s opinion that the subject matter is likely to cause several jurors to die,” wrote Itosis. “Perhaps in a few years society will mature, and opinions will shift. Until then, this case is on ice.”

Mouthwell has vowed to never post any controversial April Fools Day articles again.

“It’s not worth it,” he said. “People just want to be outraged. Instead we’ll go with some silly schtick about someone seeing a non-religious figure in a grilled-cheese sandwich or something. Wait, would that offend vegans? Damn.”

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